AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Changing the name and removing the plaques recognizing Jefferson Davis from the new 5th Street pedestrian bridge is something even some commissioners are questioning.
“Taking a plaque off and removing that to me opens up a can of worms because if you do it for one…” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
A commission committee recommended renaming the pedestrian bridge, “Freedom Bridge,” and dropping all references to the Jefferson Davis Memorial Bridge.
Half a dozen opponents went before commissioners criticizing the idea, including a lawyer representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“So, what you’re proposing to do is flatly unlawful under the present law of the state of Georgia, to change the name or to remove the plaques,” said Martin O’Toole.
But some are still ready to move forward.
“As far as I know, it’s not a violation of state law, and I’m sure our General Council will make sure that’s known one way or the other,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
But General Council Wayne Brown wasn’t sure at this meeting and requested commissioners wait two weeks to allow his office time to research state law.
So, commissioners will have the bridge renaming back before them at their next meeting in November.